Lunar New Year

Braised Pork and Eggs (Thit Kho Tau)

February 14, 2015
1 Rating
Author Notes

This savory recipe comes from Vietnam and is often served when ringing in the Lunar New Year. Fatty pork belly and/or pork shoulder is braised in a rich sauce flavored with shallots, garlic, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Caramelized sugar gives this unique recipe a depth of flavor not typically found in savory, Asian dishes. —Connie Choi

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 pounds pork belly and/or pork shoulder, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pieces garlic, minced
  • 2 pieces shallot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 pieces whole star anise
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups light coconut milk or coconut juice
  • 2 sprigs green onions, sliced
In This Recipe
  1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, take it off the heat, cover with the lid, and let it sit for 8 minutes. Peel, then set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, garlic, shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce, star anises, and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a dutch oven or medium-sized pot, heat only the sugar over medium-low heat to caramelize it, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sugar will melt, turn into a syrup, then become darker in color. The sugar burns very easily so keep a close eye! Once it turns golden brown, add the pork, increase the heat to medium-high, and stir to coat and brown the meat. After the meat is brown all over, simmer for 5 minutes to let the sauce cook down.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk or juice, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this time, ladle and discard any fat or foam that rises to the surface.
  5. Add the peeled and boiled eggs and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, gently stirring occasionally. Plate, top with sliced green onions (optional), and serve over rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Connie Choi
    Connie Choi
  • Sun
  • Mark Barton
    Mark Barton

7 Reviews

Sun April 13, 2019
I use milk other then coconut milk? I don’t have any:(
Mark B. July 7, 2015
The directions call for fish sauce and soy sauce but they're not listed in the ingredients - what quantity of each, please?
Author Comment
Connie C. July 7, 2015
Hi Mark! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention!! You need 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and three tablespoons of fish sauce. I just fixed the recipe. Btw, you can find the orignial recipe on my blog at

Happy cooking!
Mark B. July 7, 2015
Thanks for the quick update, Connie! I guessed and overshot a little, but I like fish sauce. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Author Comment
Connie C. July 7, 2015
I hope it's not too salty! I can't wait to hear what you think (: I love this dish so much!
Mark B. July 8, 2015
The dish was excellent! The pork took a little longer than the recipe suggests, but I'm at altitude which may account for that. Not too salty, I guessed two tablespoons of fish sauce and four of soy, but to half the quantity of other ingredients. I'll definitely make this again.
Author Comment
Connie C. July 8, 2015
Thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!!